Letters to Media

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NBAA Letter to The Washington Post

The Washington Post Letters, "A Fairer Way to Modernize Aviation," August 30, 2007, Page A20

The Aug. 22 editorial "Late, Again," about airline flight delays, correctly pointed out the need to modernize the nation's aviation system but omitted some key points.

First, businesses using general aviation aircraft (those other than commercial airliners or military aircraft) are vital to small and rural communities across the country. These areas usually have little or no airline service, so small aircraft are an essential tool for conducting business. The Post didn't provide a full picture of this diverse community of businesses and the uses of these aircraft.

Second, The Post didn't mention that, like the rest of the general aviation community, the people in business aviation are prepared to pay more for system modernization. That's why the 8,000 member companies in the National Business Aviation Association support H.R. 2881, which preserves the efficient, "pay at the pump" fuel tax while fully funding the Federal Aviation Administration and supporting aviation system modernization.

What H.R. 2881 does not do is provide a tax break for the big airlines.

Not surprisingly, the airlines have been outspoken in their opposition to the bill, instead favoring other proposals that would give the airlines a billion-dollar windfall by unfairly shifting airline costs for aviation system use onto general aviation.

Ed Bolen
President and CEO
National Business Aviation Association


USA TODAY, "Airlines 'Playing' on Frustrations," August 30, 2007

USA TODAY's article "Airlines recruit frequent fliers to lobby Congress" failed to mention critical points that readers should know (USATODAY.com, Aug. 22).

First, businesses using general aviation aircraft – the targets of airlines' attempt to get another huge tax break – are mostly small to midsize companies that represent the lifeblood of small communities nationwide and provide vital services such as medical evacuation flights. USA TODAY's article didn't describe this diverse community or the economic harm the airlines' plan would cause.

Second, the article didn't point out that airlines are cynically playing on the frustrations of thousands of passengers by trying to garner support for another tax break. If history is a guide, this will not benefit consumers. Experts, including air traffic controllers, report that this season's unprecedented delays result from the weather and the airlines' own practices: increased use of smaller jets, too few employees and more peak time schedules at hub airports.

Ed Bolen
President and CEO
National Business Aviation Association